American Samoa Governor: I haven’t been a Democrat Since 2013
Its been a difficult few months for the American Samoa Democratic Party.
Samoa-born president candidate Tulsi Gabbard, competing in the March 3, 2020, American Samoa Democratic Party caucus, took it for granted she had it in the bag with locals lining up behind their native-born daughter, the first Samoan candidate for US president. But about 10 days out, billionaire Mike Bloomberg sent down a half dozen paid operatives and allegedly put American Samoa Democratic Party activists on the payroll. To try to rescue the situation, Tulsi dispatched her father, Hawaii State Senator Mike Gabbard, to the island the weekend before the vote but the best he could do was avoid a shutout, and Tulsi came away with two delegates.
Things immediately began to unravel.
Bloomberg withdrew the next day. The American Samoa delegates were all he won and the press ridiculed him for how much he spent overall to garner only four delegates -- which he eventually released to Biden.
Gabbard says she 'was not invited to participate in any way' in the on-line Democratic convention last week. With her two delegates from American Samoa, she was the only former candidate who won delegates who was denied a speaking slot.
And it got worse.
Early on at the convention, the party adopted a platform (pg 79) which said that "Democrats will never use active duty soldiers as political props" -- obviously a shot at Trump’s staged military events.
Somehow, the American Samoa Democratic Party did not get the memo. They had two uniformed army soldiers standing in a video recorded to cast American Samoa's convention votes. That caused an uproar with the national press and the Pentagon is investigating who authorized the appearance against DOD policy.
The party chairman, who has a job in the governor's office, offered an apology and the governor's chief of staff threw him under the bus by denying the governor had anything to do with the soldiers appearance and went further to say that the governor wasn't even a Democrat:
“For the record, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga declared himself as an Independent since he became Governor on January 3, 2013. This decision reflected Governor Lolo’s commitment at the onset of his administration not to let party politics become an impediment in the Territory of American Samoa receive maximum support from Washington D.C. to address the needs of our people. The assertion that Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga was aware and in support of this action because the Chairman works at the Governor’s Office is ludicrous and baseless.”
Governor Moliga was listed as a superdelegate to the 2016 Democratic Convention and an unpledged delegate to the 2020 convention. He is also listed as a member of the Democratic Governors Association, on its website.
Have national Democrats been misrepresenting Governor Moliga’s affiliations for the last seven years?